"Can I get an after-school appointment for my child?"
Back in the "olden days", when I was a child, it was the norm for doctors and dentists to schedule their patients throughout the day and parents just took their children out of school, when necessary, for their appointments. Schools rarely resisted children being taken out for any medical reasons. Well, things seem to have changed in the past 20 years or so. Teachers and parents alike are much more hesitant to have their children miss school, or even after-school activities, for dental checkups or treatment.
So now, when scheduling pediatric dental appointments in our office, we are routinely asked for after-school time. And even that is more difficult nowdays with so many other activities scheduled after school. So how do we handle these requests? Well first of all, I believe we are here to serve children and their parents, not ourselves. If it was all about me, I would schedule all appointments in the morning and early afternoon and be done by 3:00 pm! But it's not about me. Here is how we schedule our pediatric dental appointments for routine and more complex treatment.
Since 3:00-5:00 pm is our most popular time, we try to reserve that two hours for our shorter, check-up type appointments so we can see the most kids. For longer treatment appointments we schedule them earlier in the day, and here's why. It is very important for your child, and the pediatric dentist and staff, to be at their best. If your child has been in school all day, and the dental staff has been with patients the whole day, both are "tired" by mid to late afternoon and not as "sharp." So why would you want us to perform longer and more complex treatment when neither your child nor the dental team is at their best?
We will always schedule your child's routine check-up at whatever time works best for you. But, if they need fillings, extractions, or anything else that would take longer and be more staff-intensive, we ask that you and the school work with us in scheduling those appointments earlier in the day.